Jersey City school board member wins scholarship to Beijing master's program
Mussab Ali, the 21-year-old college student who last year become the youngest person elected to the Jersey City school board, has been accepted into a prestigious master's degree program at Tsinghua University in Beijing.
Ali was one of 147 people chosen for the Schwarzman Scholars program, out of over 2,800 applicants. Ali, who studies biology and economics at Rutgers University-Newark, was re-elected to a second term on the nine-member school board in November.
He does not plan to step down from the board, he told The Jersey Journal. Ali will start his second term in January, one that will expire in 2021. The new group of Schwarzman Scholars will enroll in August 2019.
"This is an amazing, once in a lifetime educational opportunity that will be structured in a way that will allow me to fulfill my duties and obligations as a board member while also interacting with international leaders in policy and education," he said in a text.
Ali became a Truman Scholar in 2017, earning him a $30,000 scholarship.
The Schwarzman Scholar program, funded by Blackstone Group chair and co-founder Stephen A. Schwarzman, is modeled after the Rhodes scholarship. The program began in 2016 with a group of 111 students. Its graduates receive a master's degree in global affairs at the completion of the one-year program.
In 2015 Ali graduated from McNair Academic High School here in Jersey City. Another new Schwarzman Scholar is Varun Sharma, the valedictorian of that class. Sharma, 21, studies commerce and international economics at the University of Virginia.
"It's a blessing and I'm really, really excited to go," Sharma told The Jersey Journal. "China has been a big part of my life for a while."